Sound Atlas

The Contemporary Austin, Laguna Gloria
Lemonade Stand and Composition Creation, Saturday, October 10 from 11a-3p

Sound artist Steve Parker collaborated with district residents to create an interactive musical composition playable by anyone with a smartphone while within the district boundaries.  The SoundYarn app features a musical score whose parts are independently triggered by location, time of day, and the listener’s velocity and orientation.  Made of sounds collected from the community in the district, the composition interprets District 10 as a large musical instrument.

"At the early stages of planning and interviewing residents, there were several District 10 themes that emerged.  First, District 10 includes some of Austin’s most beautiful natural spaces, including Lake Austin, Mount Bonnell, Laguna Gloria, city parks, and preserves.  Second, everyone I met had strong connections to artistic performance and expression. Third – and I imagine this is the case in many of the new districts – there seemed to be some confusion about the district’s boundary lines and identity."
"I began working with a software developer to test a new app that triggered sound files based on GPS coordinates and other data. I decided to create an interactive musical score for the district."

Following the public premiere, Parker's piece will continue to evolve as a public work of art. Residents will have the capability to remotely upload additional found sounds, personal anecdotes, and oral histories of their neighborhood.  Rather than a static musical work, the instrument will continue to evolve and grow as the district and its residents change over time. 

See Parket's Tumbler page for a history of the app's creation.

Special thanks to Arjun Gupta and Antonopoulos of SoundYarn, Andrea Mellard and The Contemporary Austin - Laguna Gloria, Rick Kendrick, and the students from Vandegrift High School. 

Artist: Steve parker

Steve Parker is a slide trombonist, curator, and community arts organizer. He is the Artistic Director of SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art, a member of NYC contemporary music outfit Ensemble Signal, and teaches on faculty at UTSA. As a soloist, he has appeared throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America, premiering over 100 new works. As an organizer, he has facilitated performances for 100 marching tubas, 80 trombones, 99 percussionists, and installed interactive instrument sculptures in parking garages and alleyways.

Council Member: Sheri Gallo

Steve Parker photo credit Jay Janner